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Like terms

Definition of like terms

What are like terms? Definition of like terms in mathematics.

Like terms definition:

Like terms are monomials that can only differ in their coefficients.

Examples of like terms

1. Like terms example:

5a
2a

These two monomials differ in their coefficients. The letters (variables) and the exponents of the letters are the same.

2. Like terms example:

5ab2c3
2ab2c3

These two monomials differ in their coefficients. The letters (variables) and their exponents are the same. The coefficients are not equal but that does not matter.

3. Like terms example:

63
51

These two monomials differ in their coefficients.

4. Like terms example:

15aabbc2
51a2b2cc

These two monomials differ in their coefficients.

What are their literal parts?

The literal part of the first monomial

aabbc2 =
a1 + 1b1 + 1c2 =
a2b2c2

The literal part of the second monomial

a2b2cc =
a2b2c1 + 1 =
a2b2c2

Their literal parts are the same

15a2b2c2
51a2b2c2

The letters (variables) and their exponents are the same.

See Examples of like terms in math.